Talkies with Guest Host Philip Maldari – February 1, 2017

The cultural, the intellectual, the political, the spiritual—and the silly. Life as we know it, fear it, love it, question it, live it. Hosted by Kris Welch.

  • MikeCassady

    Regarding the intellectual independence of the media as the role of the media in consensus formation is changing, local critical discussion such as this program on KPFA is made possible by a peer level source of funding, not to metion an active audience involvement. Peer level critical demand is the best means to support extra-peer-level consensus debate. The issue regarding the deontology of the media’s decisions on using “lie”, “lying”, “liar”, and relevant cognates refelcts the forces struggling with how peer-level opinion is allowed to form and to have a substantive role in consensus creation.

    The story is long, but recent in real historical terms, of resistance to mass participation in the consensus process, and we are at the tipping point in the post World War II era where the mass of experience informing public life is moving further from the general national governance and soverignty break-down experienced as the World Wars. Established national opinion elites are resisting their moral demise as moral individuals are exposed to extra-national factors affecting persons in their effective domain of personal concern which now includes avoiding extra-national war, the economic effects of extra-national players, emerging uses of power affecting human rights and population dislocations, and of course factors affecting environmental sustainablility. The death of the nation as a materially self-sufficient entity and a moral world dominating its own destiny is, of course, a fairly banal birthing process in civilization-forming, is only the end of a “world” as a former world become a state memeber in a larger world defined by levels of domains of personal moral concern. Consensus debate incorporates all levels of effective concern from the individual to the family (or its equivalent personal space) to the locial community, to the state, and on up to the exta-national (and eventually global) level.

    With the above in mind, the growing mass of experience informing public life and matters of governance is facing more and more directly the evolving reality of global community and the consequent moral responsbility of that as well as the extra-national scale of personal opportunity. People who are most obviously affected by extra-national opportunity are the increasing mass of younger persons with very tenuous moral connection to the identity affecting events of the war. We Boomers born just after the war, who grew to maturity during the very grim period of the Cold War, were very affected by the historical issues of the war and the trauma of the war embeded in the pscyological make-up of the war generation who were our parents. The present events surrounding the Trump election victory are, in a fair sense, internal to the very fractured Boomer cohort alone, and can be expected to burn themselves out in the sound and fury of such stormy mental and moral events.

    What all this has to do with the press calling Presidents “liars”, or what, concerns the still unrecognized importance of peer-community as the basis for the growing postwar experience to create the right opportunities for peer-formed, peer-informed consensus exchange to allow the more forward-looking agents of public expression to rely upon and speak to a base of moral and material support, a market (of ideas) demand, capable of influencing how public discussion will be framed and judge relevant content to discuss. It is import to disntinguish peer-community from “grass-roots” communtiy, thought they overlap. Our spheres of concern, moral and material, are no longer only geographical and proximal. Peer-sharing keeps the individual intact as the moral atom of public life without confusing the “collective” with proximity. Peers are able to take part in many different communities of conscience, of conscousness and of concern all at once. Variety can be expected to be the new ‘normal’ in visible social space since the moral condition defining peer existence now is the moral pressures of choice, not conformity to principles of solidarity based upon reasoned arguments of “survival”. Media players speaking to this new forward-directed audience—left and right are out of date—already rely upon feedback recreation that links first person experience with consensus articulation. What matters about lying and liars is that these new self-effacing instruments of opinion articulation provide the peer base the means for moral persons, i.e., first person authority, to say the words “liar” and “lie”. Speaking in the first person, I have grounds with verifiable information from experience that something untrue has been said in circumstances where intention should not be dubitable to call a person who tells a “lie” a “liar.” And, I shall do.

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